Verbena belongs in the family Verbenaceae and includes both flowering annuals and perennials. This long-blooming plant produces flowers in blue, white, pink and purple. Verbena is a heat lover and is drought tolerant. It is a favorite with gardeners who want to spruce up their flower gardens with striking color. Verbena is relatively easy to plant and grow, providing you consider the plant's requirements.
Plant verbena in the spring, when all signs of frosts and freezes have passed. Select a planting area that receives full sunlight throughout the day; eight hours of direct sunlight each day is optimal.
Remove weeds and grasses from the planting site that will compete with verbena’s growth and choke it out. Keep the planting area weed free at all times. Pull the vegetation out by hand or use an herbicide to kill it. Wait at least a week before planting verbena in the site to allow the herbicide to wash from the area.
Amend the planting site's soil so it drains very well, as verbena will not grow well in wet conditions. Add sand to clay or heavy soils, working it into the planting site to create drainage. Amending sandy soils with compost is not a necessity.
Space your plants according to the variety's particular growth patterns. Varieties such as moss verbena can grow 1 foot tall and spread 2 to 5 feet, while varieties such as native blue can grow 4 to 6 feet tall, but spread only 1 or 2 feet. Do not crowd plants, as verbena requires good air circulations to grow properly.
Dig a hole that is two times wider than the verbena’s root ball, but no deeper. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it into the planting hole. Cover the soil firmly around it.
Water the newly-planted verbena well. Water every other day, until the roots have established themselves into the ground. Water established verbena two to three times per week. Water container-grown plants when the soil begins to lose its moisture. Do not keep the planting site or container too moist.
Fertilize monthly with a slow-release, all-purpose fertilizer or water-soluble fertilizer to increase blooms and foliage. Verbenas grown in sandy soils may require fertilization more frequently.